Wed 1 Aug 2012
A weekend trip to Chihuahua, Sonora, and Baja California, Mexico – concentrating primarily on some mountain drives in Sonora. Here is the first part: a quick nighttime dash from San Diego to Columbus, NM, then crossing over to Palomas, Chih., then heading west and south to Hermosillo, Sonora.
As far as I know, the only New Mexico four-digit route which is not named after an astronomically relevant wavelength. This is the continuation of state route 113. the two segments would be connected by a brief section of NM-9, except New Mexico strictly does not believe in multiplexes of state routes, so each segment gets its own number.
okay, there is a two-block long segment of NM-9 which is multiplexed with NM-338 in Animas. Apparently there is a minimum length requirement.
And this is our last US photo. I actually got an outgoing inspection – the US border patrol was pulling over everyone, and asking questions about ID/potential drug use/woodchuck activities involving wood and chucking/etc. After a minute or two, I was let into Mexico, where they also gave me an inspection. Usually, neither party does anything at the border itself when entering Mexico.
next up was the acquisition of a vehicle importation permit. good for six months, this allows a vehicle to be taken into parts of Mexico past the “tourist zone”: essentially, 30km from the border, and all of Baja. Since I was going to go deep into Sonora, this was a necessity. There is a $300 deposit and a $44 fee. The deposit is refundable when the vehicle is checked out. As I am planning to make multiple return trips, I will check the vehicle out sometime close to the 6 month expiration in early December.
After about an hour and a half at the border, I had all my papers in order and was ready to head into Chihuahua.
We look back at this wrong sign. Not just that godawful font, but also … this is Mexico 24. there are no signs for it, though. 2 is to the south – certainly not heading north as this sign seems to indicate!
Sometimes Mexico signs routes with an implicit “to”, as we will see later – but this one is just completely wrong. This one has an implicit “from”, as 24 T-junctions with 2 a few miles south of here. That is where we are going.
“Overtaking permitted. Use shoulder.” This actually means that the slower traffic should get on the shoulder, not the passing traffic! In general, in Mexico, drivers are very good about this, and will move over.
This road, by the way, is not a “super 3″. We will see that later.
that said, I have no idea what happened on January 6th in Mexico.
Oh hey, my vehicle importation sticker. I’m not sure why it says 2010 – that is the 200th anniversary of something, but shouldn’t the 2012 issues just forget about that by now? In any case, I took this photo through the windshield and mirrored it in Photoshop.
Oh, did I mention it’s the day before election day? Mexico does it on a Sunday morning, as opposed to during the week. The greatest relevance this has to my trip is that it is not possible to buy alcohol! I had no idea that the one store in Palomas was the only place selling it (possibly illegally?). There are various tequilas which are impossible to find in the US, and I would have rather liked to bring one home.
My Mexico map does not place much importance in accuracy of US cartography. Apparently, interstate 10 is now … US-290. (In reality, it has never been that. US-290 ended at US-80 approximately where I-20 now ends at I-10, and it was US-80 which continued to, and past, El Paso.)
An election banner for Luis Donaldo Colosio. Without getting too heavily into Mexican politics (as that is a topic I know next to nothing about), I’ll just note that he is basically analogous to Robert F. Kennedy. While campaigning, he was shot and killed in Tijuana in 1994.
“P” stands for “puente”. “oso” is something we do not talk about in polite company. I do not believe the government of Mexico has authorized me to reveal that this sign identifies the Bear Bridge. So, I will not.
A military command post. I snuck in this picture while they were questioning the car in front of me. Sometimes, the checkpoints get a bit elaborate, recording license plates and information about one’s origin and destination. Hermosillo was met with a bit of an eyebrow.